15 Dec 2012

Thanks for visiting The Lodge this year

These days picking a holiday is easy, IF you do your homework. Pre-internet you read the small self catering adds in Sunday papers and hoped the “by the sea” and “stunning views” description meant what it said and that the sea was not actually 200’ down a sheer cliff and the views were from the lounge window, rather than 5 miles along the road! Now you can go online and see photos of every nook and cranny in the cottage you choose and also of the views outside. If the owners have a decent website there will also be a description of the local area, places to eat and places of interest. Add to that some “word of mouth” reviews and you should have a pretty good idea of what you are booking for your holidays.
From our point of view it’s good to know the main reasons why people come to The Lodge and Glenelg and it they are satisfied with the accommodation and also the location. This year we included a survey form to get your views on things like the standard of equipment, our website, the location, cleanliness and the value of the holiday and also to see if things came up to your expectations.

As the website is our “brochure” we were pleased to see repeated comments that the location and accommodation were “as expected” (with more than a few saying “better than expected”)

We also asked for feedback, comments or suggestions regarding the property or equipment.
This has meant everything from cutting down the high foliage to enhance the sea view, de-cluttering the kitchen worktop area and adding other items, like a new TV, better pillows and even a foot stool (we all like to put our feet up on holiday!)  Repeat visitors have also appreciated the new dining table and chairs which maximize the space and also allow you to keep an eye out for otters swimming by while dining at the window!
This gives an idea (in photos) of what you like about The Lodge and the Glenelg area.
The Lodge
Morning sunshine
Morning mist
Morning snow
The viewpoints

Hill walking
Bernera beach
Sandaig beach

Not so wild, wildlife!


Ferry dog watching!

The busy Inn
The quiet Inn

One comment summed up something about Glenelg that seems to please every visitor “you can tell the locals, they are the ones that always smile and say hello”.
It’s also been a plus that Glenelg and the North West Highlands have had the best weather in the UK this year and sun tan cream has been the necessity rather than wet weather gear!

We would like to add our thanks to all who came to stay in The Lodge this year, it has been a pleasure meeting you all and we look forward to seeing you again sometime in the future (some have already booked for 2013!).

Best wishes for Christmas and New Year
Sue and Alastair

Ps: We bought a potato masher too!!

8 Dec 2012

Winter in Glenelg

There has been a definite bite to the winter over the last week or two in Glenelg. The first snow arrived on the Skye hills opposite The Lodge at the end of October but it was here and gone in a day or two. Now it comes and goes regularly and the snow line goes higher or lowers depending on the temperature. Poor weather days give a good excuse to stay in and get on with jobs that need doing on both our own house and also The Lodge but when the blue skies and sunshine appear it’s just as stunning as any other part of the year.
Snow showers batter across the sound of Sleat
Next morning view from The Lodges - stunning!
A hard frost in Glenbeg

Ever present winter snow on the Five Sisters or Kintail

21 Nov 2012

Otter Watch – Glenelg

According to the saying, you have to be “in the right place at the right time” but there is no doubt that in the winter, when it’s quieter, Glenelg offers a very good chance for anybody that fancies a bit of Otter Watching. This one was a just round the corner from The Lodge and even gave me time to go home, get the camera and return for a few shots. You often see them hunting along the shore but if they get a decent catch they come ashore to eat it just as this one did. It’s always a privilege to watch wildlife in close up like this.
On the hunt

The Catch

On shore to eat

Off out for more

25 Oct 2012

Autumn colours

Nice to get back to normality after a good but hectic couple of weeks with the Space, Stars and Mars event and all the better as the weather has been great this week. A cold blast forecast for the next few days but meantime it’s been autumn colours, hazy misty mornings and stunning sunsets. October is a great month to visit Glenelg (just like the rest of the year!!)

Autunm golds

Glenelg sunsets

Sunset over hills of Rum

7 Oct 2012

Space, Stars and Mars - Glenelg

I’ve been a bit too busy to post recently as I'm now adding posts and helping out on the Glenelg and Arnisdale website due to the “Space, Stars and Mars” event on the 20th October. As it’s getting closer there will be more going on so I expect posts her will be few and far between (or even less than that!). It feels like this will be a bigger event than we ever imagined with one or two people saying they are already getting sleepless nights and weird dreams! Besides the already mentioned former Astronaut Bonnie Dunbar and Scotland’s, Astronomer Royal, Professor John Brown we have just had confirmation that Doug McCuistion, the Director of the NASA Mars Exploration Program is also coming over from USA. It’s a big coup for such a small village and will hopefully be, not just a fascinating day for enthusiasts but also one that locals, especially the kids will enjoy and remember in years to come.
It’s not everybody that gets a chance to meet an Astronaut!!
Keep up with news on
program and ticket details are imminent  and will be available via the website.

Follow the Tartan Martian on Twitter @glenelgmars

You can also follow news on the "Space, Stars and Mars" Facebook page

25 Sep 2012

Mission Control - Glenelg (Earth)!

Following on from my (tongue in cheek) Glenelg / Mars posts below……….
There was an excellent meeting at the Community Hall last night where details of the 20th October events were discussed.
Named “Space, Stars and Mars” it will include several linked events throughout Glenelg that will not only ensure a great family day out but also offer an educational bias to everyone fascinated in the stars and planets.
Watch out for more details and press releases on our village website, Glenelg.co.uk
You can also contact organizers for media releases and details on available accommodation.
Accommodation enquiries  accommodation@glenelg.co.uk

Knock, knock who's there - it's Tony Robinson!

A quick follow up as we just heard voices at the front door and looked out to see the crew and Tony Robinson filming at our front gate. Sue mentioned film rites but apparently funding is scarce so better luck next time!

Baldrick, Brochs and Drams

It’s so hard to keep up with everything going on in Glenelg at the moment. On top of the Glenelg Earth/Mars event, Tony Robinson (aka Baldrick of Blackadder – aka Time Team presenter etc etc) was at the Brochs yesterday with a film crew and also at the Glenelg Inn last night. The Glenelg Inn stint involved Tony Robinson sitting at the bar tasting several malts. The fact that people get paid to do this for TV is amazing but I really felt sorry for an obviously envious, local “celebrity”, Charlie Mac who had to sit next to him watching him doing several “takes” of downing drams one after another!!
I was chatting to Tony at the bar when they finished filming (no, we don’t go in EVERY night!) and the program is called “Walking through History” It will go out in the spring of next year on Channel 4 and there are 4 episodes with each being one hour long. More filming is planned at the Glenelg Barracks today and in Glen Shiel tomorrow. The walks, with each one taking Tony a week will be rewarding not just for the history, which is based round the Jacobites, but also as genuinely pleasurable walks, complete with B&Bs, pubs, views ...and fellow walkers. If you have been to the Glenelg area before you will know it has the perfect mix for this and should make for a very interesting program.

24 Sep 2012

Former Nasa astronaut for Glenelg Mars party

Just noticed news on bbc.co.uk that the Nasa astronaut Bonnie Dunbar, who flew on both the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle missions, will be a guest at the Glenelg Mars rover party here in the village.
Several events plus ...........
"a treasure hunt using GPS technology before ending with a ceilidh."We don't have problems finding our way to a Ceilidh here but GPS technology could be the answer to to finding our way home again!!

23 Sep 2012

NASA party in Glenelg?!!

Interesting articles about Glenelg in the Scotsman and the Sunday Times after the US Space Agency (NASA) contacted the Glenelg and Arnisdale Community Trust about holding a party in the village. On the 20th October the Mars rover is due to arrive in Glenelg (the Glenelg on Mars, that is!). According to the article, the BBC will be here to film things and a Martian Ceilidh is also planned. I guess that will be like a normal Glenelg Ceilidh but you will look green when you go home. Just a normal Glenelg Ceilidh then!

Anyway, we must have all walked back from a Ceilidh or a late Saturday night in the Glenelg Inn seeing stars, tartan Otters, pink Pine Martens or attractive sheep, (haven’t we?!) so little green men would probably just get a nod and  an “Aye” on the passing. It’s a friendly place Glenelg!

13 Sep 2012

Eilean Donan thrills with James Bond!

On Monday 17th September, Eilean Donan Castle, close to Glenelg, will be the starting point of a 7 day UK Tour marking the 50th anniversary of the James Bond films. Eilean Donan was used in 1999 Bond film “The World is Not Enough”

Eilean Donan Castle

The tour begins at 10:07am when Eunice Gayson, who played Sylvia Trench in DR. NO (1962) and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963), will appear at Eilean Donan Castle.
The Castle location and backdrop has been used for many film and TV productions over the years, it's also noted as inspiring scenes in this years Disney blockbuster "Brave".

Of course, Eilean Donan is not the only local link to 007. The parents of Ian Fleming, the James Bond author, owned Arnisdale House at the end of the road, just a few miles past The Lodge.

Arnisdale House, previous home to Ian Flemings parents.

His father, Major Valentine Fleming was killed during the Great War and his name is marked on the Glenelg War Memorial.

Glenelg War Memorial

2 Sep 2012

Abandon Ship in Glenelg!

“Abandon Ship” is literally, a band on ship, aka the Pirates. A bunch of amazing musicians who sail the West Coast and further afield, ending up in some of the remotest pubs, halls, and venues to put on brilliant gigs and Ceilidhs. Last nights venue was the Glenelg and Arnisdale Community Hall and on a foul wet and windy night, which luckily eased off to allow a dry stagger home, around 15 “Pirates” rocked the village until after midnight.
Ronnie, Rab and co, ran a “well oiled” bar and the mince and tatties were good too!
Another excellent night out in Glenelg!!

As motley a crew as you would like to sail with,
plus some locals kids, all in all a brilliant show!

First session was a concert.....

then the Ceilidh.

Last dance - midnight plus some!

29 Aug 2012

Feeding like Gannets

A change in the local bird life over the last couple of days when stiff winds out in the Minch brought flocks of Gannets to feed in the sheltered waters around Glenelg Bay and Kyle Rhea. One of the best things to see in the natural world, when they fold their wings and drop like arrows to the sea. Back to calm this morning so they have headed for wider seas.
The Skye Ferry sails under hungry flocks of Gannets

Ready for the drop.

Fed and ready to take off for more

23 Aug 2012

Mars - the Glenelg connection

Interesting bit on the BBC website mentioning Glenelg, a rocky area on Mars soon to be visited by the recently landed Mars Rover and how it compares with the village here.
Hope the community council are going to stake a claim on the mineral rights!

Another thought - does this mean the Glenelg Inn will now be known as the "Mars Bar"?!

20 Aug 2012

Calum's seal trips

Not been doing my usual blog waffle recently as family descended on us for a week.
It’s not always easy to please everyone when the age group runs from 8 to 75 but a trip on the Sula Mhor went down well.  Calum's seal trips run from Plockton, a well known scenic village on the West Coast. It’s a “see no seals – pay no money” trip so you won’t be ripped off, on the other hand he has to make a living so you may be out for a long time if they are hard to find!!
Calum Mackenzie is a mine of local knowledge and keeps you going with interesting “facts” - some of them true! Kids and “big kids” get a chance to skipper and all in all it’s a nice way to spend an hour or so sailing Loch Carron amongst some stunning scenery.
The Sula Mhor

Duncraig Castle

Plockton from the sea

Big kids and wee kids get to play at Skipper!

The sight of seals means you have pay!

Some show interest

Some don't

and some swim out for a better look